MUNCIE, Ind. — A Delaware County inmate eager to cut a deal to get out of jail is accused of lying about the fate of a woman who’s been missing since 2013.
Jesse Mansfield, 41, faces charges of obstruction of justice and false informing after claiming he had key investigative information in the case of Ashley Morris Mullis.
Mullis has been missing since September 2013. No one has seen her or contacted her since. The mother of three was 27 years old at the time of her disappearance; her family has tried to keep the case in the public eye.
On July 8, Mansfield contacted an investigator with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department claiming he had a phone containing evidence in the case.
Mansfield told the detective Mullis was murdered and named two individuals he could prove were involved. He said the individuals knew the location of her remains and claimed the phone had video of her body.
Investigators took Mansfield to a home in Eaton; he was unable to locate the phone. He was then taken to his father’s home in Muncie. While police collected three phones from the location, none contained the footage Mansfield claimed he had.
The inmate then had police visit an area near Daleville at the White River where he told police Mullis’ body had been buried. None of Mansfield’s information panned out, police said.
Mansfield told police he wanted a “deal” to get out of jail in exchange for information in the Mullis case. He also said his wife could corroborate details about the video. However, when police talked to his wife, who is incarcerated, she said she “knew nothing” about the phone or purported video.
During a follow-up interview with Indiana State Police, Mansfield admitted he’d lied about the phone, according to court documents. When asked why he misled police, he said he was “looking out for himself.”
The detective who investigated Mansfield’s claims said he felt the information needed to be checked out so “as not to lose evidence.” Mansfield is awaiting trial in an intimidation and domestic battery case, according to court records.
Mullis’ disappearance remains an active investigation. Investigators have searched numerous properties in connection with the case.